A group of Muslims and Christians have come together in Egypt to give their time to help the needy of society.
In the Cairo district of Masr El-Qadima, they are putting together Ramadan boxes, filled with basic food items and provisions, which have been donated by volunteers.
For the past three years, landlord Atef William has been hosting the activities of an organization called “Helm Establ Antar”, meaning the dream of Establ Antar, the area where it takes place.
“We are all equals, we are Egyptians,” he says. “I was brought up not to differentiate between people on the basis of religion.”
Much like Masr El-Qadima, the middle-class district of Shobra is considered to have a high level of social coexistence with friendly residents.
Gamil Banayouty is a Christian. He organises an iftar tent that has been set every Ramadan for the last 40 years. He works alongside elderly men who were teenagers when the activity first started.
“Our Ramadan table is called the National Unity Media, and it’s open to everyone – Muslims, Christians, we don’t differentiate,” he explains. “As for me, I’ve been attached to the month of Ramadan since the October War [1973 Arab–Israeli War]. I was an officer, and we were fighting during Ramadan, and I could not not fast with my soldiers. ”
Banayouty and his neighbours are very proud to have kept the iftar activity going for such a long time and they continue to reap the reward of the unity it brings between their community.